Dealing With Discontent And A Downcast Soul

Paul Luckett | - Dealing With Discontent And A Downcast Soul

I find that when I’m in a state of weariness, downcast or just in a general funk, not really motivated to do anything, it is usually because I’ve fallen into the world’s thinking.

I’ve taken up the world’s value system of competitive, comparative, relative worth which causes me to compare myself to others.

I’ve engaged in the world’s game where my value is derived from, and the objective is having more and being more than others.

It’s a grim, brutal, loveless way to operate that pierces you through with many sorrows.

It is the reality of this world, but God.

But, God makes it possible to operate in a way that completely defies the reality of this world and still THRIVE in it.

It looks more like a mighty, life giving tree planted by the waters than a nice car and a big house.

“He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
—Psalms 1:3

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'”
—Luke 9:58

In God’s economy, a french fry cook, anyone, in their current position can lift up and give life to those around them.

To that person there is no higher pursuit than the Kingdom of God. That is the objective.

There is no greater joy than sharing it with others -inviting others out of the cruel world’s game into living safely in communion with brothers and sisters in Christ, bound by love in the unity of the Holy Spirit with the bond of peace. All the while, God supplies all of their NEEDS – not opulence (because that’s not our goal, after all these things the Gentiles seek -Matthew 6:32) (and, we obtain our needs through God’s means and mechanisms; the means being opportunity, the mechanism being the God ordained system to convert opportunity into provision: work).

So, I must lay aside the flesh, the thinking of this world that’s concerned about getting and what others have gotten.

I must walk again in the Spirit, putting on the mind of Christ where there’s great purpose and joy in giving what I’ve been given -life.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
—John 10:10

Note: This is one something non-believers cannot cherry pick as they often do with principles gleaned from Scripture. A plucked branch from a fruit tree in a vase of water is not going to produce fruit. We cannot give life apart from God. We’ll quickly burn out in our efforts.

I must abandon my desire for the things of the world, despite what others around me seek and have, and trust God that He will provide all my needs through His means and mechanisms.

The things that make for our peace are often counterintuitive. Very often the remedy to malaise isn’t about what I’m getting but what I’m giving.

In everything and in every interaction, I’m looking to pass life along, which in the process, gives life to me, making my Savior all the more real to me. Jesus Christ is the Vine. I am the branch. That’s exciting.

“And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
—Acts 20:35

I believe we are most content and experience the greatest joy doing what we were created to do: that is, according to our gifting, ministering life, which is our unique vantage of God, working in conjunction with fellow believers of different giftings, to edify the body and give others a fuller picture of the knowledge of God. In short, to make the Father known.

Let us use everything at our disposal in service to making the Father known and doing His will. That’s where we’ll find our joy.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
—Psalms 42:11

Clarifying questions that I will ask myself when confronted with the trigger of apathy and lethargy:

What do you want most right now, praise from men or God? (John 12:43)

What is your chief concern right now, the things of men or the things of God? (Matthew 16:23)

Do you trust the Good Shepherd to lead, guide and provide for your every need as His sheep and as He has promised? Or, am I not satisfied with His level of sustenance? (Psalm 23, John 10:7-10, Psalm 106:13-15, 1 Corinthians 10:6)

Are you being a faithful servant? Are you living in the joy of serving the Lord? Or, have you been seduced again into false comforts and deceitful pleasures of this world? (Luke 12:42-48, Luke 21:34)

The Prescription For Discouragement

Paul Luckett | - The Prescription For Discouragement

Notes from my time in the Word this morning:

Psalm 42 reveals that the prescription for discouragement is praise.

But, it requires remembering.

“O my God, my soul is cast down within me,
Therefore I will remember…”
-Psalm 42:6

It is essential to chronicle the true good you’ve enjoyed.

If I don’t celebrate the good, I am more susceptible to discouragement, readily deceived into believing that I’ve never had any.

And above all, it is essential to recognize Who is responsible for that good.

From there, true praise emerges as our hearts are lifted to where He is, and not long after our circumstances.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.”
-Psalm 42:11

Joy And Pain

Paul Luckett | Joy And Pain

I have great joy, peace and hope because Christ is in my life.

Yet, there is pain that never leaves me. It’s like gravity, a condition of this environment, always there, weighing me down.

I don’t want to,
I don’t feel like,
I don’t have the strength to,
are all ways the pain makes me feel.

But, there is strength to thrive in spite of the pain: His strength.

To enjoy it I have to accept my weakness and His power, allow it to align me, flow through me and make me flourish,
like a flower emerging from the weight of the earth, its roots still in but its bud reaching toward the sun.

Quite often, life requires more than I have. But, His grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

There is power to overcome
I don’t want to,
I don’t feel like,
I don’t have the strength to.

There is power to go on
as a vessel of His Love.

I just have to go,
depending on Him.

Any Love, any Light, any Life that He can channel through me is eternally worth it.

I Can Go On

Paul Luckett | I Can Go

He didn’t want to.
The Christ, the God-Man, the highest form of existence did not want to do what was before Him to do.
“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” -Matthew 26:39
Yet, His love for the Father and for you and I prevailed. By it, He steeled Himself in the face of unparalleled and incomprehensible suffering and chose to trust and obey the Father, to fulfill His ministry and finish His redemptive work.
I am tired. I am frustrated. I am discouraged and this remembrance is an encouragement to me.
Surely, with there being even more grace towards us now than there was before (John 4:12), I can endure these comparatively light and momentary afflictions: I can endure fatigue, feelings of failure, discouragement, difficult and devious people. Not seeing the end from the beginning, I can trust the Father, I can hope, I can love, I can work His fields, I can keep my hands to the plow of His redemptive work no matter how small or fruitless my efforts may seem.

I can go on.

Jesus is my example, my model and my guide. He is the person I want to become –to attain to His resurrection, to be like Him: righteous, just, loving, faithful –altogether fit to rule. He is my prize.So, even though I don’t want to right now, I press.

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #9 – Encouragement From A Sister

Paul Luckett | Thankful For Encouragement From A Sister

In Week 9 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for encouragement from a dear sister, Carrie McCarty Copeland.

For a while, I’ve been sad and discouraged –suffering silently. And, then my wife shares a message that was just sent to her by Carrie Copeland,

“Good morning, I’m praying for you and Paul today!! Whatever you two are facing God is in the midst…”

What extraordinary timing and how remarkably on the mark! I know I am not alone but it made all the difference for someone to take the time to make the truth real. Thank you sister, Carrie. This is church. I’m grateful #52WoG